Cartoon Basics: Drawing a "Carlor" Character | JAM - Jose A. Martínez | Skillshare

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Cartoon Basics: Drawing a "Carlor" Character

teacher avatar JAM - Jose A. Martínez, Artist at

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Sketch

    • 3. Drawing

    • 4. Context

    • 5. Color

    • 6. Bye

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About This Class

In this class you will draw a cartoon character. It can be taken just for the fun of drawing, or to learn  cartooning techniques. This is "Carlor", the image to be drawn:


Some features, which you will learn, are:
     Big nose attached to the front
     Profile with a central eye
     Enormous jaw
     Tiny helmet

It is for beginners, and it can be done in the media of your choice: markers, colored pencils, watercolors, inks, acrylics, oils or what you chose. I will go digital for easy recording and uploading...

I have been professionally painting for more than 20 years. Besides that, this class is for beginners, mostly, but more advanced students can also benefit.

Don't forget to post your work in progress, see you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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JAM - Jose A. Martínez

Artist at


I'm an artist, painting in acrylic and digital. My painting style has evolved since I started. This is how I pant now:

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1. Intro: Today, we are drawing "Carlor", a tough soldier of the Roman Empire. I will guide you through the process from start to finish, giving you tips and advice. First, doing loose sketches to develop my idea and consolidating it in a line drawing. Then, I will provide some background information about the character. And finally, we will do the coloring. Being a professional artist, I will give you tips on making cartoons. And although I have been painting for more than 20 years, this class is for beginners. More advanced students can benefit too, as I give useful tips. Materials are pencil, paper, and the media of your choice. I provide documents that you can print at home: a line drawing for tracing and copying, and a full page colored image. Last but not least, the project assignment is to do your own version of the "Carlor" character; in whatever media you prefer: markers, inks, colored pencils, watercolors, acrylics, oils, or in any digital software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw, Art Rage, or the like. And post it for positive feedback. Okay, let's do it. 2. Sketch: Welcome to this class about cartooning. In a sheet of paper, I'll start doing small versions of an invented character. Starting small is appropriate, to do many tries and easily erase all that is needed. I have nothing in mind yet. I was remembering those Easter Island statues, So let's try something like that. What if he wears a hat? It could be a farmer's one, or an elegant one; I haven't decided it yet. When starting a drawing, lighter lines are easier to erase or overlap. Right now, I am using a thick crayon so that it is clearly shown in the screen. This drawing went nice, anyone could say it is enough. But let's start with the first advice: "Cartooning can be improved by exaggeration". So let's create new versions, achieving exaggerations. Because I don't expect you to copy these sketches. I am accelerating the video. Be aware that the beginning is mostly rough and not clean; and that many tries are needed to be satisfied with the result. I like the jaw of this character let's increase it in this new version. This can be achieved, other than growing the beard, by lifting the mouth a little bit. Don't worry about improving, this will happen with time. Let's try a Roman helmet, like in the history of civilizations. Even though I am happy now, let's do a third try. I am tilting its face to fit him in this page. Remember his big nose and give him a wide jaw. Try bigger eyes. Would a pointed throat look good on him, what do you think? Let us provide him a decent beard. Okay, so this is how I invented and developed this character. It didn't appear magically in the first drawing. Actually, I tried different options and choose the ones I preferred. 3. Drawing: An image of this drawing at different sizes is provided in the resources section, so that you can print it and trace it over. This time, I'll show you step-by-step how to draw the "Carlor" character. Start by drawing a tilted square, a triangle. -- this will be the head and the nose -- and some other lines for the shoulders. The front and the nose are formed by the same continuous line like this... Which keep on going to the back of the head until the ear. This ear has a simplification of its waves and hole using an 'X' shape. The jaw curves inward to form the beard, reaching the chin and mouth all with a continuous line. Finally give him enormous neck and shoulders. Draw with this idea in mind: big shapes at the base, and smaller ones at the top. As I said, you can exaggerate as much as you want. Like in the eye: the bigger, the better. And in the helmet, in this case, a tiny one. This composition is a triangular one. Now let's step a little further. 4. Context: It is convenient at this point of the process to provide some background information about the character. To me, this is a fun way to bring our character to life. Let's say that he was (because this is in the past) an Officer of the Roman Empire. And that he lived in a hot semi-desertic place, where the sun can get you very thirsty, needing to drink a lot of water. This is it. I will name this soldier "Carlor". With this simple and helpful information. We can pass to the next section, which is coloring. 5. Color: Okay. I do associate orange color with hot weather. Therefore, this color will appear in the background. I will also add larvae worms and rocks, which I associate with dry weather. I am using a digital media to make this painting. But you can go with oils. watercolors. acrylics, pastels, markers, colored pencils, or whatever you prefer. A big sun is mandatory in this landscape. I take advantage of this digital stencil, and a bigger one for the background as you'll see in a moment. Now let's grow some grass and maybe bushes, alternating greens and blues. Look at these embellishments like glittered stars. More red color over here, and our landscape is almost done. Now let's fill the face with a skin color, most of it will have this base color, varying a little in highlights and shadows. Some other details need to be tinted: for example, this red shape in the cheek. His neck is a little bit darker, and he's wearing a blue gray shirt with a net of armor around the neck. His eyes will be blue in different shades. And lastly, don't forget the helmet. A printable copy of this image in full color is available for reference in the resources section. 6. Bye: I hope you enjoyed as much as me while making this class. Mastering cartooning comes with practice. Keep on drawing and for sure you'll become better. I'll be around for comments and questions. You can also follow me to be notified of new submissions, and find more information at like my artworks, or my art in products. Consider leaving a review or spread the word on social networks. Post your work in progress. And remember, you don't have to stick perfectly to the model; you can add or remove stuff, being creative and improvising. See you, have fun.